/ Clients

Heart Healthy and Full of Love

Renard was just hanging up the phone when he opened the door to let me into his apartment today. He was speaking with his friend who served in Vietnam. Renard called him to say thanks for his service. Renard is 77 years old and he is also a veteran. He enlisted in the National Guard the day before he received a draft letter that would have required him to go to Vietnam. Renard served the United States from the Harlem office of the National Guard for five years.

Today he lives in the East 20’s where he has been receiving meals from God’s Love We Deliver for about a year. Our meals have helped him follow the heart-healthy dietary requirements that his heart failure requires. He showed me a medical device that he wears around his waist and he told me, “I had open heart surgery, where they implanted this device inside my heart to make it beat regularly. It’s kind of like a pacemaker, but it’s more vital. It weighs 7 lbs, and I have to carry it around with me everywhere.”

Renard also showed me his walker, which he has named Doris Walker. This man has a way with words and a great sense of humor. It therefore makes a lot of sense that after serving in the National Guard, Renard made his career in advertising at TIME Magazine. “I was their first African American manager. I sold advertising space for TIME, Jet, and Ebony magazine. I then worked for Jet for a couple of years too. So, my whole career was in advertising sales.” In an earlier phone call, he told me it was kind of like Mad Men, but different.

Renard’s heart condition has required him to stay closer to home. He is still an active member of the Alpha Phi Alpha alumni chapter. These days the other members take care of him. “I’m the oldest guy in that chapter. When I go to the meeting, all I have to say is ‘Brother, will you get me a soda’ and they all jump to it.”

For the past few months, Renard has been focusing on rebuilding strength through heart-healthy nutrition and heart exercises. He just received a certificate for completing post-surgical cardiac rehab and his doctor said that his health report had improved. He said “that means the exercise and the food are working for me.”

When I told Renard that 15,000 volunteers help prepare 2 million meals at God’s Love every year. He was blown away by the scale. We’re proud to be able to serve clients like Renard, who have done so much to serve our country.

“I want to thank the volunteers very much for what they do. I’m sure that there are many people in my same situation who really could use this and who are very happy to be able to get it. Like I say for me, it’s a blessing. I think that’s remarkable, so keep it up!” - Renard

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